Here we make a list of unfortunate American Presidents who died while in office. A total of eight presidents died in office, four died of natural causes and four were assassinated. Each presidents were succeeded by their vice presidents, in all the cases.

1. William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison was the ninth president of the United States and also the first one to die while in office. Harrison died 31 days after taking the oath of office, at age 68, making his presidential tenure, the shortest. The president who returned to White House after a early morning walk, did not change his wet clothes which was a result of sudden rain. He died nine days later from complications related to pneumonia on April 4, 1841. Vice President John Tyler who was visiting his family in Williamsburg, so that it would not appear as if he was anticipating the president’s death, was notified of Harrison’s death the next day. He returned to the capital on April 6 and was sworn into the office, the same day.

2. Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor died while in office

Zachary Taylor was the 12th president of the United States. He died 16 months into his term from a stomach disease on July 9, 1850, at age 65. Taylor reportedly consumed copious amounts of cherries and iced milk while attending a fund-raising event on July 4, 1850. He became ill the same day and died five days later. Contemporary reports listed the cause of death as bilious cholera. He was succeeded by Vice President Millard Fillmore, who served the remainder of his term.

3. Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and the first president to be killed by an assassin. Lincoln was shot in the head by stage actor John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, on April 14, 1865, while he was attending the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. He died of his wounds the following day. The assassin Booth who went on the run, was killed after a 12-day chase. He was succeeded by Vice President Andrew Johnson, who served the remainder of his term until March 4, 1869.

4. James Garfield

James Abram Garfield was the 20th president of the United States and the only sitting member of the House of Representatives to be elected president. He was shot at Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, on July 2, 1881, by Charles J. Guiteau, because god told him to do so. The president died 79 days later on September 19, 1881. Garfield died 6 months and 15 days into his term, making his tenure the second shortest. Chester A. Arthur assumed the presidency after Garfield’s death on September 19, 1881, and served the remainder of his term until March 4, 1885.

5. William McKinley

William McKinley was the 25th president of the United States. McKinley was shot on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition in the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York, on September 6, 1901, six months into his second term. He was shaking hands with the public when Leon Czolgosz, a anarchist, shot him twice in the abdomen. The 58-year-old president died eight days later on September 14 from gangrene caused by the bullet wounds. He was succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, who became the youngest president ever.

6. Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding

Warren Harding was the 29th president of the United States. Harding died of a heart attack in 1923 in San Francisco while on a western tour, and was succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge. He died as one of the most popular presidents in history, but the subsequent exposure of the scandals, which included Teapot Dome, as well as an extramarital affair with Nan Britton, who was 31 years his junior, eroded his popular regard.

7. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt died while in office

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States and the only U.S. president to have served more than eight years in office. President FDR died on April 12, 1945, in Warm Springs, Georgia, from a massive cerebral hemorrhage, at age 63. He died 2 months and 23 days into fourth term. Vice President Harry S. Truman assumed the presidency after his death.

8. John Fitzgerald Kennedy

John Fitzgerald Kennedy died while in office

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States and the youngest person to assume the presidency by election, at age 43. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested for the assassination, but he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby two days later on Live TV

The FBI and the Warren Commission both concluded Oswald had acted alone, but several conspiracy theories about the assassination still persists. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was a few cars behind the president in the motorcade, became U.S. president upon Kennedy’s death.

Leave a Reply